Title: Arsenic, mercury, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, zinc and manganese levels in blood serum and whole blood of 300 resident adults from mining and non-mining communities in Ghana
Authors and Affiliations: Samuel Obiri1, P.O. Yeboah1, Shiloh Osae1, D. Carboo3
1Department of Nuclear and Environmental Protection, School of Nuclear and Allied Science, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra
2Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis, P. O. Box AD 738, Cape Coast, Ghana
3Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Abstract: Biomonitoring is a well-recognised tool for estimating exposure to harmful environmental contaminants by human beings and other animals. Notwithstanding the useful role biomonitoring plays in regulation of exposure to toxic chemicals, information on levels of toxic chemicals in human biomarkers from exposure to environmental chemicals in the general public in developing countries is lacking. It is within this context that in this study levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, zinc and manganese in whole blood and serum of residents of mining and non – mining communities in Ghana using neutron activation analysis (NAA). Blood samples were taken from 300 adult residents in mining communities (105 males and 95 females) and non – mining communities (60 females and 40 males) who gave their consent. All the participants were asked to complete a set of questionnaire regarding their diet and living habits as set out in the exclusion criteria before the samples were collected. The geometric means for total arsenic, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese, lead, copper and cobalt in whole blood of residents from mining communities are; 0.038 (As), 0.063 (Hg), 0.141 (Cd), 0.303 (Zn), 0.038 (Mn), 0.026 (Pb), 1.83 and 3.30(Cu) respectively whilst in the blood serum are; 0.065, 0.358, 0.134, 0.049, 0.401, 0.01, 0.058 and 3.59 respectively for total arsenic, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese, lead and copper in blood serum for residents of mining communities. Levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, manganese, lead and copper were in both the whole blood and blood serum were found to be above the WHO permissible guideline values.